Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - Oklahoma

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-1.5

If a child has resided with a birth relative before being adopted, the adoptive parents and that birth relative may enter into an agreement regarding communication with, visitation of, or contact between the child, adoptive parents, and the birth relative after or during pendency of the adoption proceedings.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-1.5

The adoptive parents and the birth relative may enter into the agreement.

For purposes of this section, 'birth relative' means a parent, stepparent, grandparent, great-grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of the child. This relationship may be by blood or marriage.

For an Indian child, birth relative includes members of the extended family as defined by the laws or customs of the Indian child's Tribe or, in the absence of laws or customs, shall be a person who is age 18 or older and who is the Indian child's great-grandparent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece, nephew, first or second cousin, or stepparent, as provided in the Indian Child Welfare Act.

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-1.5

The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents and the birth relative who desires to be a party to the agreement.

The court shall not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the communication, visitation, or contact between the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth relative as agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the child's best interests and poses no threat to the safety of the child or integrity of the adoptive placement.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-1.5

An agreement regarding communication with, visitation of, or contact between the child, adoptive parents, and a birth relative is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are contained in a written court order entered in accordance with this section. An order must be sought and shall be filed in the adoption action.

Failure to comply with the terms of an agreed-upon order regarding communication, visitation, or contact that has been entered by the court pursuant to this section shall not be grounds for:

  • Setting aside an adoption decree
  • Revocation of a written consent to an adoption after that consent has become irrevocable
  • An action for citation of indirect contempt of court

The prevailing party may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-1.5

An agreed-upon order entered pursuant to the provisions of this section may be enforced or modified by filing a petition or motion with the court that includes a certified copy of the order granting the communication, contact, or visitation, but only if the petition or motion is accompanied by an affidavit with supporting documentation that the parties have mediated or attempted to mediate any dispute under the agreement or that the parties agree to a proposed modification.

The court shall not modify an agreed-upon order pursuant to this section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child, and:

  • The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent and the birth relative.
  • Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed-upon order was entered that justify modification of the order.